The Celtics and Knicks appear to be willing accomplices in their mutual destruction.
Several days after a bogus report surfaced that the Knicks were “interested” in trading for Rajon Rondo, another report indicates the Celtics might be amenable to a deal — just not one that involves their All-Star point guard. The Knicks, who have been trying like crazy to rid themselves of Amare Stoudemire, could have an interested buyer in Boston, provided New York is willing to take Kris Humphries and Gerald Wallace in return, according to Bleacher Report.
Essentially, the Celtics would be swapping two bad contracts for one that may be even worse.
Stoudemire, 31, makes $21 million this season and is due to make $23 million next year. He is no longer an everyday player and has set new career-lows in each of the past two seasons. He is again on pace to have his worst year by far this season by averaging 3.6 points and 2.3 rebounds while playing in seven of New York’s 10 games.
Humphries, 28, will receive $12 million in the final season of a two-year pact he inked in 2012. Wallace, 31, is due roughly $10 million in each of the next three seasons.
Looking at this trade from a basketball standpoint is a waste of time. Neither the Celtics nor the Knicks are looking at this as a basketball-related move. The Knicks want to get out of Stoudemire’s massive contract before 2015, and could use two players who can at least be counted on to play every night while Tyson Chandler heals his broken leg. The Celtics would lose the luxury of having Humphries’ salary come off the books at the end of the season, but would be able to wash their hands of any massive overpayments by 2015 rather than 2016, which is when they would have to wait to rid themselves of Wallace.
It’s a deal that will perplex casual fans — or might even excite Celtics fans who recognize Stoudemire’s name but don’t realize how far he has fallen — but in this trade, there would be no winners. There would only be two teams in undesirable situations who feel they can get into slightly less undesirable situations by making an ugly trade.